How to create a really bad email list

We've talked before about how to build a really great email list... now we're here to tell you how to build the worst email list of all time. Hey, everyone's needs are different!

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Joe Piperni

How to create a really bad email list

We’ve talked before about how to build a great email list and why that’s so important for a successful campaign. A successful email list is full of qualified leads who are really excited to back your product… but maybe you don’t want to be successful. Maybe you want to build a really bad email list. If so, keep reading—we’re going to tell you all the very worst tips and tricks you can use to build a terrible email list!

Run a giveaway of something unrelated to your product

If you want to make a splash, give away something that has a huge mass appeal but isn’t related to your product at all. The bigger the giveaway item, the better! Let’s choose something gigantic for our hypothetical giveaway…

Tesla Model X worth $91,190

Everybody’s going to want to enter to win that Tesla! It’s a sweet car, and you’ll get a ton of people on your email list. Even better, they’re only entering because of the prize, and they’re almost definitely not going to actually back your project when you launch.

Don’t have Tesla levels of money to drop on this? That’s okay; go a little smaller! A $100 Amazon gift card will still get people who aren’t interested in your product to sign up for your email list.

Whatever you do, don’t run giveaways of products specifically related to your launch. If you do, only qualified people will end up on your list, and that’s not what we’re here to do!

Buy email lists from shady sellers

Look, email has been around for a while, and a ton of other people have already made email lists. Why waste money on building one of your own when you can just buy those pre-made lists? Sure, sending email to a list you purchase is technically against the law in a lot of places, and yeah, you have to have people’s consent to email them, but having those unqualified people on your list is worth the potential fines, right?

Send emails without thinking about them

Don’t plan your email content! Whenever something crosses your mind, just fire up your email program, type it out, and send it to your list. Don’t even proofread it first. And definitely don’t worry about sending emails on a predictable schedule—sending six emails on the first of the month and then going totally silent for three weeks is a great way to make sure people will be too annoyed at you to purchase your product!

Wait, even better…

Don’t email your list at all before you launch. Ever.

Why bother, right? They’re on the list, so all you have to do is let them know that you launched. Don’t worry about telling them what your product’s cool features are, or asking them to tell their friends, or getting them excited for your launch. Just make sure they’re on the list and then ignore them entirely!

Make it hard to sign up for your list

Hide your sign-up form! Ask a ton of super complicated questions and then deny people for getting them wrong! Have a double opt-in process, but never send out the confirmation, so it’s literally impossible for people to get on your list!

Use terrible lead magnets

Lead magnets are free pieces of content that you offer in exchange for someone’s email address. A great way to build the world’s worst email list is to offer the world’s least effective lead magnets!

These lead magnets should definitely be things that aren’t related to your product. Launching a kitchen gadget? Give away a PDF with your favorite cat memes! Got a new piece of technology? Make an ebook guide to fishing poles! Launching a pet product? Type up your favorite vegan recipes and slap your logo on the front! People will be interested in downloading those lead offers, but they won’t be people interested in your actual product. What a win for your bad email list!

Believe in your ability to build a bad email list!

As you can see, there are a ton of simple strategies that you can use to build a bad email list. From unrelated giveaways to awful lead magnets and beyond, building the world’s worst email list is truly within your grasp. Just make sure you don’t use any good list-building strategies and you’re good to go… or, more likely, good to go absolutely nowhere with your terrible list.

Of course, building a bad email list isn’t a strategy we recommend. We actually encourage you to do the exact opposite of all of these things to build a list that converts. If you want help figuring out the best lead offers, ad strategies, and more to grow your email list, apply to work with us today!

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